Korean Verb Conjugation (The ㅗ Case)

Let’s learn how to conjugate these Korean verbs in present tense.

보다 to see
오다 to come
쏘다 to spill

놀다 to play
녹다 to melt
속다 to fool

The first thing that you probably notice is the syllable . It is called the dictionary form similar to the preposition to in the meanings above. We do not use to in an actual sentence. Similarly, we do not say when making sentences in Korean. We have to get rid of it and what remains is the verb stem.

When conjugating, we only need the verb stem. Can you see what they have in common? That’s right, each syllable has the vowel . The first three literally ends in while the second three has an extra consonant at the bottom. The rule says that when a verb stem ends in , we conjugate it by attaching ().



It is acceptable to say 보아요, 오아요, and 쏘아요, but we can also simplify them by fusing and into (a dipthong).


The second group doesn’t need any contraction, but there is a sort of blending. The consonant just before 아(요) is pronounced as if it is the initial sound of the second syllable.

놀아요- 노라요
녹아요- 노가요
속아요- 소가요

Now, we can make Korean sentences in present tense.

너만 봐요.
I only look at you.

주말 때 놀아요.
We play every weekend.

가끔 우리 집에 와요.
He comes home sometimes.